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Planned Giving

New and increased commitments in 2018 totaled almost $2M!

The Planned Giving committee and First Church are deeply grateful for this outpouring of support that will help build our Endowments for years to come. 28 new members joined Sustainers of the Flame in 2018. Through the UUA's WNOV campaign, $73,000 of funds will be coming to First Church in 2019!

What Is Planned Giving?

First Church is here today because of the commitments and dreams of those who came before us — those whose vision, hard work, time, talents, and planning got us where we are today — from our beginnings in the 1870s until now. 

Sustaining the vision of a beloved community that nurtures spiritual growth and acts on our values to heal the world requires dedication, both to today’s tasks and to what the future requires. Just as those who “went before” and made this Church so important to us and those we serve, we are also responsible for future members. It’s our turn to “go before” and ensure that in the future the Church has a vital influence on members’ lives and has the resources needed to justify saying “service is our prayer.”

People of all ages and family groups plan for the distribution of their assets and the care of their children and other loved ones through planned giving. Planned Gifts are typically made from assets in your estate rather than income, and come to fruition upon your passing. A common misconception is that planned giving is only for the wealthy. The reality is even people of modest means, if there are assets in the estate, such as a home or a life insurance policy, can make a significant difference through planned giving. Planned Gifts are different from Living Gifts because the gifting takes place after death. It is an introspective process as it involves stopping to think about one’s own passing and what sort of legacy one leaves behind. Planned Gifts require some planning ahead and, sometimes, help from a professional advisor.

Sustainers Of The Flame

You become a “Sustainer of the Flame” by making a Planned or Living Gift valued at $2,500 ($5,000 for a couple) or more. You’ll become one of those who, years from now, others will gratefully remember as one who went before and enabled our Church to do so much for them and others. You will be remembered today as well. Your name will be added to the scrolling list shown here and engraved on the beautiful Sustainers of the Flame sculpture, located on the Welcome Center wall in the upper patio. Next time you see it, take a look and see how many of the 200 members whose names appear on the sculpture you know or remember. These are people who loved this congregation and made a Planned or Living Gift.

Established in 1987, the Channing Society, was the previous name for this group of individuals. It was renamed in 2018 to Sustainers of the Flame in order to more accurately portray the purpose of this group. Sustainers of the Flame members are also invited to attend a special reception each year to thank them for their gift. Donors may also choose to remain anonymous.

First Church Endowment Funds

Endowment funds are used to meet the goal of supporting the long-term effectiveness of an organization. Usually, this means that the principal amount granted is not to be spent in the near-term but rather only the income derived from that amount is to be spent. This allows the donor to truly leave a long-term legacy for the institution. Here, most people choose the First Church Legacy Endowment fund for their Planned Gift, but there are other options, such as the Social Justice fund.

When you give to one of First Church's endowment funds, your gift is added to gifts from those who have already given generously through the years. These funds are managed with funds from over 200 congregations and other UU-related entities by professional advisers chosen by the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA). They are tasked with finding ways that will balance the desire for income with the importance of assuring the safety of the principal. By the Constitution of the Church, unless you specify otherwise, the original principal will remain intact forever, with the exception of a major emergency, and then only with a 2/3 vote of the congregation.

As of May 2019, the total value of the Legacy Endowment fund is over $1,100,000. The Church Board has approved the investment return of 4.5% from the Legacy Endowment for yearly Church operations, making the Legacy Endowment one of the church’s important revenue sources.

Gifts and Bequests

Ways to Specifiy a Gift or Bequest

Common gift specifications include a lump sum amount (e.g., $10,000) or a specific percentage (e.g., 5%) of your estate amount after taxes and expenses. An alternative is a percentage amount of your net estate after distribution of specific amounts to family members or others (recognizing that if the estate is depleted, there may not be any net funds to distribute). Other specifications can include all or a share of a specific asset, such as a house, a retirement account, or an ownership interest in an insurance policy or a business.

Bequests from a Will or Living (Revocable) Trust

We hope you'll consider including a gift to First Church in your will or living trust. As noted above, your gift can be made as a percentage of your estate, or you can make a specific bequest amount. This type of gift offers several advantages:

  • Simplicity. Just a few sentences in your will or trust are all that is needed. For suggested bequest language download our Sample Wills & Trusts PDF.
  • Flexibility. Because you are not actually making a gift until after your lifetime, you can change your mind at any time.
  • Versatility. You can structure the bequest to leave a specific item or amount of money, make the gift contingent on certain events, or leave a percentage of your estate to the Church.
  • Tax Relief. If your estate is subject to estate tax, your gift is entitled to an estate tax charitable deduction for the gift's full value.

Other Types of Planned Gifts

Most planned gifts are simple bequests that are donated to the Church by the executor of an estate (if a Will) or the Successor Trustee (if from a Living Trust).  A similar bequest can be achieved in some other ways, including:

  • Bequests from Retirement Accounts or Annuities
  • Assigning Life Insurance
  • Setting up a Lifetime Charitable Gift Annuity
  • Setting up a Charitable Trust

Members of the Planned Giving Committee can provide you with more details on these methods of giving.

A simple way of leaving bequests for several Unitarian-Universalist related entities, including First Church, Camp de Benneville Pines, and so on, is to specify an Umbrella Gift to the UUA. For more on this please visit the UUA Umbrella Giving Program page.

Living Gifts

Some people have the means and desire to give now. Members of the Planned Giving Committee would be pleased to work with you to accept donations of cash or appreciated assets, such as stocks or real estate. These can be given to our Endowments or used to create a new program or strengthen an existing one, and there may be significant tax advantages to using such assets. Remember that all gifts of $2,500 or more ($5,000 for a couple) are recognized by induction of the donor(s) into our Sustainers Of The Flame.

Make Your Gift Now

Thank you for helping to ensure a solid future for our church through your Planned Gift and legacy! The information on the Bequest Form is needed to ensure that your intent is realized following events that cause your gift to become due. It is also needed to induct you into the Sustainers of The Flame. The information and documentation you provide is private and confidential. Please complete the form and return it to the Church office, keeping a copy for your files. We will follow up with you to finalize the process. You can fill in, print and sign the form or simply print it out, complete it by hand and deliver or mail it to our office.

Download and complete the Planned Giving Bequest Form.




Sustainers of The Flame

Don Barrie

Naomi Barrie-Lake

Thérèse Bélanger

Joel Bergsma

Joan Berg-Bruestle*

Marcia Biller

Copper Black*

Betty Boone

Elbert James Boone*

Katie Boskoff

Paul Bruce*

Michael Brummer*

Bob Buckey*

Marie Buckey*

Jesse Burke*

Joseph Byrnes*

Kenneth L. Campos

Kay Chandler

James Christenson

Patricia Christenson

James Crosley

Caroline Clark

Nathan Clark*

Julie Cobalt

Marjorie Cole

Bob Colmenares

Patricia Colmenares

Joe Combs

Kachina Conley*

Carole Courlang

Laurie Crehan

Bertha Crowell*

Joan Cudhea

Barbara Davis

Charles Davis*

Dick Davis

Lois Day*

Kathy del Papa

Ron del Papa

Karl Dege*

Virginia Dege*

Kenneth DeHahn

Lynn DeHahn

Diana Denoyer

Marydale Merrill Dessel, MSRD

Alice Diamond

Doug Diamond

William C. Dippert*

Mac Downing

Mary Downing*

Edward Dreher*

Thelma Dreher

Elaine Durson

Everett Eastman

Paul Ellsworth*

June Ewing

Alice Ferris*

Newt Ferris

Tomas Firle

David Fountain

Alyse Ford

David Fuhrer*

Kay Furrer

Ian Fusselman

Jan Gallo

Angela Garcia-Sims

Jan Garbosky

David Garrison*

Nitarose H. Gause*

Mary Hale Geran

Jerome J. Ghigliotti

Lynda Gilgun

Michael Gilgun

Melita B. Gillin*

Marty Gohlke

Joy Gorian*

Marian Gould

Robert Graham*

Betty Grant

Rev. Jim Grant

Albert F. Grimmell*

Harry Griswold

Janet Griswold*

Nannette "Nan" Guerin

Jane Hardin

Susan Riegel Harding

Susan Haskin*

Ilse Hellendahl*

Thomas Helm*

Lawrence Hess

Suzanne Hess

Sonya Hintz

Sam Ho

Georganne Hoctor

Michael Hoctor

Mary Byrne Hoffmann

John Holl

Peggy Holl

Steve Howard

William Hower*

Kathleen Hughart

David Hunt

Eric Isaacson

Marguerite Jabinson*

Robert K. Jepperson*

J'anna Johnson

Joel Johnson

Lois Johnson*

Beverly Joy*

Barbara Karpinski

David Karpinski

Emily Keeler

Wayne Kenaston Jr.*

Dorothy Kernick*

Armin Kuhlman

Rhea Kuhlman

Karen Lamphere

Elizabeth Lancaster

Alice Lane*

Betty Law*

Ed Law*

Sarah Mildred Lawrie*

June Learn

Martin Learn

Katherine Leonard*

George Longstreth

Karen Longstreth

Beatrice Lynds*

Vivienne Malone*

Mary Sue Manley*

Janet Mannion*

Sue Marberry

Paul Marsh

Sheila Marsh*

Maggie Marshall

Iris P. Masotti

Drew Massicot

Ann A. McDonald

Brian P. McDonald

True McGinnis*

Julie McKane

Doug McLeod

Sue McLeod

Robert McMahon*

Maureen Elizabeth McNair

Dane Mechlin

Doris Meek*

Keith Mesecher

Helen Meyers*

Harry E. Miller*

Maurice Miller

Ree Miller*

Natalia Molina

Don Morgan*

Rita Morgan*

Barbara Morton

Dana Myra Mosser

Sallie Munafo*

Grazina Narkus-Kramer

Marc Narkus-Kramer

Cristina "Tena" Navarrette

Ruth B. Nelson*

Carole Newall

Gerald Newall*

Melinda Newman

Patrick Nichols

Terri Rodgers O' Dea*

Jerry Olinger

Sylvia Ollinger

Carolyn Owen-Towle

Tom Owen-Towle

Kathleen Owens

Sarah Ormond

Florence Parker*

Ruth Patnode-Sturevant*

Daniel Paul

Leonard Pellettieri

Stephen J. Perrello, Jr.*

Mikee Petersen*

Kay Phillips

Pilar Placone

Bill Plock*

Lawrence Porter*

Ann Queen*

Don Rabenau*

Erene Rallis*

Ray Ramseyer*

Alice Rathbone

R. Rhett Rathbone*

Lee Reynard*

Judy Reynard

Jay Richen

Kevin Riley*

Joanne Roberts

Richard Roberts*

Barbara Roodhuyzen

John Roodhuyzen

Mary Rose

Bonny Russell*

Ardath Schaibly

John Schaibly

Catherine Schmidt*

Patricia Schmidt

William Scudder*

Izetta Segal*

Mary Severine

Eli Shefter

Christine "Chris" Smith

Kathy Smith

Verda May Snow*

Loretta Solsbery

Suellen Sorenson

Barbara G. Spaulding*

David Spierman

Jackie Spierman

Jackie Statman*

Anita Strauss

Paul Strauss*

Dorene Sulzer

James Ciser Talley*

Richard Tatelman*

Claudine Thatcher*

Bill Thomas

Helen (Burke) Thomas

Peg Tilford-Miller

Toni Turbyfill

Ruth Turner

Ruth van Leeuwen*

Rose Van Oss

Eugene Vehslage*

Les Vivian

Helen Vogel

Everett Waldo*

Herbert Philip Wangenbrenner*

Susan K. Weaver

Stephanie Webber

Margaret Weed*

Robert Weed*

Eugenia Welker*

Jennifer White

Victor White

Beth Wickler*

Jay Wickler*

Alberta Widen*

Frank T. Willey

Duncan S. Williams

Norma Wilson*

Fanny Wood*

Carolyn Woodbury

Peter Woodbury

Marge Wurgel

Elizabeth Zanoni

Dean Ziegler

Kathy Ziegler

Philip Zrelek*

Joined in 2019

* Deceased

The Planned Giving Committee

The Planned Giving Committee (PGC) is responsible for all matters pertaining to the growth and administration of the endowment funds. The PGC is a special committee of the Generosity Ministry Team and its main function is to encourage planned gifts to the Church’s endowments and to recognize those who have included the Church in their will, trust, or via a Living Gift.

Our Vision: That the Beloved Community of First UU Church be sustained for future generation, thanks in part to the gifts of current and prior generations.

Our Mission: To encourage congregants to sustain the vision of the Beloved Community of First UU Church of San Diego for future generations through Living and Planned Gifts to the First Church Legacy Endowment. We undertake periodic educational programs to assist our members to understand the value of these gifts and the process for making them, support them in finding resources for estate planning and other current and end-of-life financial issues, and honor them within the Church community for their generosity and commitment to the future.

Planned Giving Committee members

Dave Hunt, Chairperson
Carolyn Owen-Towle, Minister Emerita
Marcia Biller
George Longstreth
Jerry Ollinger
 Rose Riedel, Church Staff Assistant

Who to contact

Please call our main office line at (619) 298-9978.